Imagine a beautiful walk between Avondale and Pepper Place
As of this writing, part of the Red Rock Trail System, the Jones Valley Greenway extends from the east end of the Rotary Trail (a section of trail in an abandoned railway right of way spearheaded by our sister club, The Rotary Club of Birmingham) along 1st Avenue South to the intersection of 1st Avenue South and 32nd Street. In this next phase of the trail, it will continue along the tracks down to 35th Street where it will dogleg to the right next to the M2 building, and then turn left and continue along what would have been 2nd Avenue South, had it ever been constructed.
The 2nd Avenue South corridor between 35th and 38th Street, like many of Birmingham’s streets and alleyways, is an abandoned railway property. Once a thriving rail yard, this stretch of land also featured a railroad roundhouse – a covered, circular configuration of intersecting tracks where locomotives were serviced. Where that structure once stood, there will be a plaza, a place to rest ones feet on the trek across Birmingham, or simply sit and take in the surroundings of what will become a beautiful urban walkway. This plaza is our project.
A place that is about both connection and destination.
This important stretch of urban trail will form a connection between the bustling Pepper Place area of the Lakeview district with the equally dynamic neighborhood of Avondale. Imagine being able to have dinner in Avondale and walk safely over to Pepper Place for after-dinner drinks. One day, this may not just be a “what if.” In adding this wonderful connector, Birminghamians will be able to walk from Avondale to Regions Field along an uninterrupted pedestrian corridor.
What also makes this stretch of the Jones Valley Greenway a destination, however, will be what lies along it. In the next year or so, Ghost Train Brewing will be moving into the M2 Building (where Old Car Heaven used to be). So, if craft brewing is your thing, you’ll be able to walk from Avondale Brewing to Ghost Train along this beautiful stretch.
An historically inspiring and artistic spot along the way
The Sunrise Plaza will feature ample space and seating to stop and rest on what could eventually be your journey from Railroad Park to Ruffner Mountain, or simply a place to enjoy lunch on a fine spring day. In addition to seating, this space will also feature a public art installation (in concept phase as of this writing) by renowned artist, Deedee Morrison. While the artwork is still being conceived, we expect that it will pay homage to the deep roots of this area – its connection to the rail yard that occupied this space so many years ago.